Sailing with the Clippers: 7/23/12 to 7/29/12
Seven days removed from wrapping up their best week of the season with a 5-3 win at Lehigh Valley, the Columbus Clippers ended this week on a sour note, falling to the Rochester Red Wings, 8-5. The past seven-day stretch was another sweet one for the Clippers, though.
Columbus (59-51) went 6-2 this past week after posting a 6-1 record the week prior. The Clippers won their last game of their series against Lehigh Valley to open the week before taking four of five games against Toledo and splitting two games versus Rochester.
Offense was the key for the Clippers this week. Columbus totaled 77 runs over eight games, scoring more than 10 runs in four games.
With their surge at the plate over the past seven days, the Clippers are now the best hitting team in the International League. Columbus ranks first among IL teams in batting average (.276), runs scored (564), doubles (229), home runs (120), runs batted in (527), on-base percentage (.348), slugging (.447), and OPS (.795).
They’re doing OK in the standings, too. After being mostly out of the playoff picture a few weeks ago, Columbus now is just a couple games out of the Wild Card spot. The Clippers trail the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees by two games.
July 23, @Lehigh Valley, Win, 14-9: Columbus opened the week with one of its best offensive performances of the season, tallying 14 runs on 17 hits. Six of the nine Clippers in the lineup had multiple-hit games, with Vinny Rottino leading the way with a three-hit, five-RBI game. Matt Pagnozzi was superb as well, going 3-for-5 with two home runs. On the mound, right-hander Jeanmar Gomez struggled, allowing eight runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings of work.
July 24, Toledo, Win, 7-4: With the game tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Clippers had a three-run inning that paved the way for the club’s second-straight win to open the week. A Pagnozzi walk brought home the first run of the inning, then Gregorio Petit and Ezequiel Carrera had back-to-back singles that also plated runs. Carrera also had a home run, with Matt Laporta and Jared Goedert having two-RBI games.
July 25, Toledo, Loss, 3-5, Win, 11-10: Columbus split its’ Wednesday evening double header against Toledo, falling behind early in game one before almost blowing a seven-run lead in game two. In game one, Toledo had a four-run inning and Columbus never got within one run. In game two, the Clippers got up 9-2 after two innings before winning the game in the 11th inning. Carrera was spectacular at the top of the lineup, going 5-for-5 with a double and four runs scored.
July 26, Toledo, Win, 16-2: Columbus had one of its best offensive showings of the season, scoring 16 runs on 16 hits. Goedert led the way, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBIs. Tim Fedroff drove in six runs, while Phelps scored four times. On the mound, Chris Seddon was solid, as the left-hander allowed two runs in six innings of work.
July 27, Toledo, Win, 13-2: The Clippers followed up their best win of the week with their second best, scoring 13 runs on 21 hits. Six of the nine Clippers in the lineup had at least two hits, with Rottino leading the way with four hits. Russ Canzler homered, Chad Huffman had two doubles and Pagnozzi had three RBIs. On the mound, Corey Kluber went seven innings and allowed just two runs.
July 28, Rochester, Win, 8-5: Ezequiel Carrera led the Clippers to their fourth-straight win, totaling three hits on three RBIs. LaPorta and Goedert chipped in, too, combining for four hits and four RBIs. Gomez wasn’t great on the mound, allowing five runs over 6.1 innings. Columbus was better at the plate, though, scoring eight runs on 13 hits.
July 29, Rochester, Loss, 5-8: Columbus got off to a good start, scoring two runs over the first two innings before left-hander David Huff fell apart on the mound. After breezing through the first three frames, Huff gave up five runs over the next two innings and lasted only five innings. As Huff struggled, so did the Columbus bats. Following plating a run in the second inning, the Clippers failed to score again until the seventh inning. Columbus scored three runs over the final three innings, two of which came on a two-run homer by Fedroff.
Ezequiel Carrera, .483, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs
The Clippers center fielder has not only been Columbus’ best player over the last seven days, he’s been one of the best in all of Triple-A. In seven games this week, Carrera recorded 16 hits—including three doubles and two home runs. Carrera hit safely in all seven games, and drove in at least one run in five. His on-base percentage was all and more you could want from a leadoff hitter: .515. What’s scary is that Carrera’s production this week was actually a bit of a drop off from the week prior. Carrera, coming into the week, was hitting closer to .500 post-All Star break.
Tim Fedroff, .556, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs
As good as Carrera was this past week, Fedroff was even better. The Columbus outfielder had an astounding six multi-hit games in just seven starts—three of which were three-hit games. He showed power too, homering twice in a July 26 game against Toledo in which he also drove in six runs and hitting another home run in Columbus’ last game of the week on July 29. Fedroff’s average is now a team-best .386, and post-All Star break, Fedroff is hitting .463.
David Huff, 0-1, 6.55 ERA, 6 Ks, 3 BBs
Huff made two starts this week, and had poor showings in both of them. Huff had a no-decision in his first start of the week, allowing four runs in six innings of work. In his final start of the week, Huff allowed five runs in five innings, taking the loss. What’s troubling about Huff has been opposing team’s ability to homer off of him. Huff has given up at least one home run in each of his last five starts, and has given up a combined eight homers over his last three starts.
Bryan Price, 7.20 ERA, 8 Ks, 4 BBs
Out of the bullpen, Price made three appearances this week, and gave up at least one run in two of his outings. Heading into his final appearance of the week, Price had given up a modest one run over 3.2 innings. His performance on Sunday was what earned him a spot in the “Who’s not?” category. In 1.1 inning of work, Price allowed three runs on five hits. Columbus lost Sunday’s game by three runs, and would’ve had a chance to win if not for Price’s poor performance.
Stat of the Week
Carrera’s hit streak
The Clippers center fielder extended his hitting streak to 19 games this week. The streak, which stretches back before the All-Star break, is the longest active streak in the International League and the fifth longest streak of the season. It’s also a career best for Carrera.
OF Aaron Cunningham outrighted from Cleveland Indians (not yet on active roster)
July 30, Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
July 31, Rochester, 12:05 p.m.
August 2, @Norfolk, 7:15 p.m.
August 3, @Norfolk, 7:15 p.m.
August 4, @Norfolk, 7:15 p.m.
August 5, @Norfolk, 6:15 p.m.